Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fuston's Discount Variety Store

Fuston's Discount Variety Store barn

As you can see, the top lines are on a background of black, with the letters in white with a dark red shadow, with the bottom lines white in a dark red round-cornered rectangle.

This barn is located on Highway TN145, which is the quiet country road in Cannon County that runs from Woodbury to Auburntown. This painted advertisement barn, with roosters running around is located somewhere between the unincorporated towns of Brysonville and Hardscrabble. It's not far from a pretty neat goat farm.


I'm not sure, but I think I saw another barn for these people on US70 (not 70S) near Dowelltown. It would have been an ad for their second location in Smithville, TN.

I can't find any store named Fuston's Discount Variety Store, but there is a Fuston's Antiques. Best I can tell, this is a new location or a new retail business from the same owner or family. Fuston's Antiques of Woodbury is located on Main St., which is U.S. Highway 70S, across the street from the Cannon County Courthouse.

Cannon County Court House Woodbury Drug Center - Now Fuston's Antiques

Manchester Highway would be highway TN53, as it runs from Woodbury's city square to Manchester, the county seat of Coffee County. However, this highway is not labeled as the Manchester Highway anymore. In town, it is South McCrary St. and further from town it is the Jim Cummings Highway. Jim Cummings was a highly influential state senator and congressman from the late 1920's through the early 70's. The Manchester highway was renamed for him soon after his death in 1979. This likely means the barn was first painted 30 years ago or more.

See it on a map HERE.
Lat & Lon: 35.975329oN & -86.875329oW

Monday, July 09, 2007

A Very Faded Rock City barn on 31W

ometimes you can tell it's coming. When I drive down a major country highway like this, I always have a tendency to look behind me at every prime location of a barn we pass just to make sure I am not missing anything. Occasionally, I say to my wife, "That would make a good one" when I see a barn with a big side facing oncoming traffic. My wife humors me and nods. I noticed the huge roof on the north side of this barn, which make for the perfect sign for southbound traffic.

A very faded Rock City barn

The words I can definitely read say:

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Although I can't see it, usually there's an "Atop" before Lookout Mt. and a "near" before Chattanooga, Tenn.

My wife and I were driving North from Nashville to Louisville and we both like country driving instead of the interstates if time permits. One good section of highway we'd never taken was U.S. Highway 31W north of Cave City, Ky into Louisville. In the past, we had driven 31W from Cave City to Bowling Green as there are some other Rock City barns along that drive.

Most drives between two big cities have one major U.S. highway, but Nashville to Louisville have 2: 31E and 31W. Both are very old routes. 31E goes by Lincoln's Birthplace as Lincoln's parents and siblings lived along that route which many decades later became 31E. Dixie Highway, which was the major tourism route from Chicago to Miami in the dawn of auto travel in the 1920's in this area has become 31W.

Since we were driving North, if we were to spot a Rock City ad, we'd have to turn around to see it as they would only be useful for people going in the right direction. Most Rock City barns I know about before we get to it, based on other people's pictures online. There's also the most thorough collection in the Rock City Barns book by David Jenkins. However, if a barn appears in that book from about 12 years ago and it doesn't appear in someone's online collection, that often means it's gone. In this case, it just means that nobody else had spotted it and put it online.

A tough to read Rock City barn

This barn is in Hardin County, KY, but 31W through here serves as the border between Hardin and Larue counties. I-65 runs very close to 31W through here and can be seen not far away. This barn is about a mile south of the intersection with KY Highway 84.

In the Jenkins Book, this barn is on page 144-D
See it on a map Here.
Lat & Lon: 37.507419oN \ -85.882804oW

Sunday, July 01, 2007

6 Miles to Frisch's Big Boy

One of the more scenic drives out of Downtown Cincinnati is to drive east on U.S. Highway 52. This starts as Pete Rose Way by the Great American Ballpark, but becomes the Ohio River Scenic Byway, which is one of 99 National Scenic Byways designated by the U.S Department of Transportation. At one point, the road is known as Kellogg Rd., and a highlight is the famous Coney Island which opened as a theme park in 1887.

At some point, the highway needed to be widened and a large portion of U.S. 52 east of I-275 became a four-lane divided highway. Despite the widening, small stretches of the Old Kellogg Rd. still exist. On one of these stretches, just west of Eight Mile Road, hiding in the overgrowth is this barn painted to tell you how far Frisch's Big Boy Restaurant is.

6 Miles to Frisch's Big Boy

6 MILES TO Frisch's

The New Highway is literally 25 feet to the right of this barn. For whatever reason, the paint that has survived the best is under the beam in the middle and the white 6, outlined in black in the red circle has remained well, except for the wood that has been replaced.

6 miles...

Frisch's Big Boy is a chain of Drive-Ins with over 100 locations surrounding the first one in Cincinnati. Their signature advertising landmark is the boy statue at most of the locations. The boy, wearing red and white checkerboard overalls holds a round tray with a Big Boy, a double-decker burger. The specific Frisch's advertised here is still open in New Richmond, Oh.

There were several different Big Boy Franchisees around the country, such as Bob's, Kip's, Marc's, JB's and Eat N' Park. Out of all of these, only Frisch's kept the Big Boy name. Locally, I remember eating at a Big Boy when I was young as the regional franchisee was Shoney's Big Boy. In 1984, Shoney's dropped the Big Boy name but kept a similar menu so they could expand more throughout the south.

This stretch of old highway, which is currently a dead-end street is being considered for a bike trail. More info Here.
This barn is listed on as Advertising Barn #AdB35-31. The picture shown there was taken in the winter, making it possible to see all of the words.
The barn also appears on page 97 in the Simmonds book.
See it on a map HERE.
Lat & Lon: 39.035793oN \ -84.337387oW